Full text of "Argus"
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To all the students who submitted your work to Argus this year, thank
you - without your willingness to share your creative works and,
through them, your Voices with us, we could not provide Northwestern
with a literary magazine each year.
Thank you to each of our yearly volunteers: all of this year's judges, for
your time, thoughtful consideration, and unique perspectives; Mr. Gary
Hardamon, for photographing the art for reproduction on the pages
of the magazine again this year. To those of you who were willing to
judge if we needed you, we appreciate your willingness to step in.
We are especially grateful to our continued supporters year after year,
such as the faculty of the Fine and Graphic Arts Department and the
Department of Language and Communication. Neither the continued
assistance, support, and encouragement to the staff members
working on the magazine, nor the motivation you give to students to
submit pieces for consideration, goes unnoticed.
A special thanks to Larrie King for his continued interest in Argus, first
as a student and now as an instructor.
Dr. Sarah McFarland and Ms. Bobbie Jackson, thank you for all you
do for us: from letting staff members into the office and stopping by to
make us laugh, to the technical aspects involved in publishing Argus
that happen behind the scenes and away from the eyes of even the
Dr. Lisa Abney, Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic and
Student Affairs, you share in our victories and frustrations, always with
a hug, and that means more than we can express. Thank you for your
unwavering support to both Argus as a literary magazine and each of
us as individuals.
For another year of assistance and guidance, for yet another Argus
staff, Dr. Julie Kane: thank you. Each year has its own unique
situation and, although the staff changes out, you patiently help each
staff through the experience as they learn what you've taught before.
As always, we could not have done it without you.
Qaaoa. JtAfy 2010
When Erin brought me a flyer that said, "Submit your creative
work to /Argus and let your Voice be heard," she didn't realize that
she was setting the theme for this year's issue. But she did. We
toyed with "Voices" and everything that it could represent. The
more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea of "Voices"
and producing an issue of Argus designed to embrace, highlight,
and celebrate the many voices that Argus represents as the
campus literary magazine.
Sarah had a challenge putting this abstract idea of "Voices" and
the diversity they are associated with into a design to form a
cohesive book. It's been a journey; design concepts were
imagined and rethought until the theme you now see evolved. As
you read through the pages of Argus 2010, it is our hope that you
get the sense of many "Voices" joining in one refrain to celebrate
the differences we share.
In this issue you will find the "Voices" of your peers: from the high
school student taking college classes to the nontraditional
graduate student going back to school, the brokenhearted and
the love struck, the student who likes to be on the playing field
and the one who prefers to be in the library, and everyone in
between. As such, we know that no one will connect with every
piece. It is our hope, however, that all can connect with
something and feel that each unique voice is represented in
The voices of NSU's student body are in and I am so
grateful for the opportunity to experience the talent, insight,
and the soul of every artist on our campus. The chance to work
behind the scenes of the Argus was a whirlwind of creativity and
pride in gathering such inspirational works into one magazine.
Every submission was different just as each of us has a unique
voice. The challenge to bring the magazine together required
effort from each dedicated staff member and the incredible
design team to find the connections between the pieces
entrusted to us, a connection we hope to have between you, the
reader, and the magazine itself.
I thank Katie Magaha for trusting me with the responsibility of
filling the assistant editor's shoes and her support when I felt lost,
which was quite often. I would also like to thank the whole Argus
staff for fulfilling their roles with open minds and persistent loyalty
to the magazine. Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to
the artists and writers for your submissions and for sharing your
passion with Argus and the rest of the NSU demons.
Argus has been published for years now, so when I was approached
about designing for it I was overjoyed. Designers dream about having this
opportunity. This experience has taught me a great deal and it is one that
I will never forget.
When I was told the theme of Argus was going to be "Voices" my first
thought was a journal. I wanted this book to reflect a diary or sketchbook
of some sort, with cut outs and drawings. I wanted it to appear as though
a group of people were writing their stories in this book.
I would like to thank Katie and the rest of the Argus staff for giving me this
opportunity to design Argus. I would also like to thank Larrie King for all of
his guidance and support.
Andi McKay Boyd is a Northwestern State University alumnus and
past editor of the /Argus. Currently, she lives in San Marcos, Texas,
and is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Texas State University.
Dr. James A. Crank is an Assistant Professor of American literature
and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of
Language and Communication. He teaches a wide range of courses
that usually relate to one of three main areas: American literature and
culture (including issues of ethnicity, sexuality, and class), Southern
literature and culture, and Film Studies.
Megan Karl is an alumnus of Northwestern State University. She
graduated in 2006 with her B.A. in English. Since then, Megan spent
a year teaching, and now she and her husband live and work in
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Dr. Sarah E. McFarland agrees with Marianne Moore that poetry "can
present for inspection imaginary gardens with real toads in them."
She is Acting Head of the Department of Language and
Communication and teaches American and environmental literature
Qstuj^d* 2010 Oruid^^ c*n£.
Dr. Gary Bodie enjoys teaching medieval literature, including Beowulf,
Chaucer, and Arthurian literature, as well as other Old and Middle English
literature. His other interests involve dangerous activities; he may have
competed in the 1984 Winter Olympics downhill racing and won a bronze
medal or won a bull-riding championship at some point in his life. Or, Dr.
Bodie enjoys a good joke and keeping people guessing.
Dr. J. Rocky Colavito is a professor of English and Director of University
Writing Programs at Butler University. His research spans the spectrum of
advertising to contemporary zombie fiction.
Chandler Crook is a graduate of NSU who served as assistant editor and
illustrator of the Argus during college. She is an avid reader and writer.
Her works have appeared in the Argus, Protest Poems, and most recently
a story of hers has been selected for an anthology of women. Chandler
now lives in California, and is working towards teacher certification.
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Dr. Lisa Abney is the Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic
and Student Affairs at NSU. She also teaches courses in Linguistics
and Folklore for the Department of Language and Communication and
her research areas focus upon linguistics, folklore, and literature of the
American South. The short story is her favorite genre with which to work.
She enjoys the opportunities she has to work directly with students, both
teaching in the classroom and solving problems in the office for her "Dear
Matt DeFord is a mixed-media sculptor who joined the art faculty at NSU
in 2005. Matt received his MFA in Sculpture at Kansas State University in
2004, and a BFA in Sculpture at Brigham Young University in 2001 . His
work touches on mortality and its limitations, the importance of our
connectedness with each other. He loves to eat and spend time with his
wife Julie and their five children.
Leslie Gregory Gruesbeck serves as Assistant Professor of Art and
Gallery Director for the Department of Fine & Graphic Arts. Argus is a
publication near to her heart as she served as editor of the publication for
Larrie L. King Jr. is completing his first year as an Assistant Professor of
Design for the NSU Department of Fine & Graphic Arts. He earned both
his BFA and MA degrees at NSU in Graphic Communications, and served
as Design Editor for Argus for three years. When not working in graphic
design, he enjoys painting, music, and reality television competitions.
Michael Yankowski has degrees from the University of Wisconsin and
Louisiana Tech, and has been teaching art at NSU forever. He says that
the students keep him young. He continues to do work as a graphic
designer and enjoys creating art, building guitars, and playing music.
1 4 Abuela masdUda. ~Pa«jjul
1 5 Anhelo Katuu -m^ojia.
1 6 Stranger KadLa n*datt
1 9 Barefoot Haiku Xnutuux. •m.c&mdsb
20 Untitled $<$, mcd!^
22 Self Portrait JoWl cLauu.
23 The Accidental Hero Jhmoud. /W
24 Lost Cat *runW^ Gkmuo-
28 Space Age Malaise djuovu*, Jkutku-
29 Dream Bearer Vui CmwMl,
30 The Real Terror jj*A/l ^i
34 Owen Lea lYioMub. ^auMjl
35 Spring Branch Supper Club *^&w. -m.c£^djb
36 Cancer HojubM. lA&Mvudi
38 Entropy Blossoms into Eternity o^W- -m
42 Midnight Inferno *^ifL Jv^duto,
43 The Light Inside ^W^«vl
44 The Parka *>tuiW •m.c&mcUb
45 Lessons *a&^ CLtMdtA**.
46 And So This Is Christmas
48 Biography ilcuLdsMlAtdvudi
50 CoyOte jfabmtl jSuJImw
51 Carolyn rtidi*h± GwtMjb
52 Pearl of Dunes VuiCwuMju
54 Winged Prayer (^ ~m.<Mpai
55 Into The Blue, Blue Sky QnuutM, nteuujui
56 Inter Aquam Ignimque Stat JiMath* jdattn,
57 Three Days at Stonewash Creek djuoa^ Jh/tku-
64 Prey iowUm. m.c&udb
65 The Ralph -mut^OiU^
66 Clouds Ahead Ka^^wJU
67 Distribution (j<al»ui. frvuu.
68 Untitled ^rb^J^jjj^
69 Caught in the Moment ^o£i;£W^Mt
70 Weller's Barn and the Cloudy Day Qvom* fyua*
71 Mind If I Sleep Here? HMrt*. WoMa
72 Lights -flkhatu. CmuoMju
73 Complementary Colors tmJL ~h<w*aM.
74 Literati iUjubSL IalcOlkch
75 Evolution frjiuvSMi,
76 Forgetting Jamz ifajMs/i
78 Classifieds <W £W*u.<i
79 Finishing Last Ji*ux Ewtm
80 Ode to Urania's Daughter §t$ -mcMfut
83 Elephants and James Dean Aren't Impressive Like Us KunHrf^ c*ua+
84 The Truth About Fairytales *Wai£ ^flW
86 Sharing is Caring d/utAt^ Jtw<fcu,
87 Swing -rUhtLj. GwaSk,
88 Ain't Got No jjhxu^jtdp. Jbu^jt
90 Just the Facts Ma'am jdoJrAjjd jduJL^
91 Jenny Kines HojubM. lAtdvudi
94 Ford -fnpJLuA-n Souvuu.
96 Thief -Ji^^ia. Swu>/i
97 Weller's Barn ^vtm^^-iuu.
98 The Collected Letters of Reggie P. Zephyr (UdMb*, J hjtkw
1 05 Better Things to Do •mxchjud Dtu.
106 Man In Reno... ilojidJllALdinidi
1 07 After mdLua. Zulu
1 08 Retail Hell Knutuu>, inc&udb
109 Gumbo, Southern Comfort &&&^ ^^^ wi£ku>ui.
1 1 BleSS YOU OcucuouOax. Q^jy/L
111 Hold On Tight dm^5^
112 The Forgotten Movement ^atdbOuiMAsuoaj^
114 Broken Bones jdaUui jbuJlw,
1 1 5 Crimson On Jade Vtm (jwuMju
1 1 6 A Song of Surf and Sea < 6maa*ii -fn^uju
1 1 7 Muy Muy Viejo -#w. Jjc^m^u
118 Dostoevsky's Mouse-Man dnuxjut* Joimh
1 1 9 Austen City Lights HojuuM. IalcUau*.
Winged Prayer-Jeff McAlpin
Just the Facts Ma'am-Gabriel Guillory
The Collected Letters of Reggie P. Zephyr
Three Days at Stonewash Creek-Andrew Shirley
The Truth About Fairytales-Randall Sullivan
Caught in the Moment-Kali Davenport
Weller's Barn and the Cloudy Day-Jeremy Jones
thinking of winter, Erma sits inside
while the cold October wind howls
like a coyote on the prowl
the stovetop makes the teapot whistle
while Erma crochets a sweater
for her only beloved daughter
ojo caliente can be so cold,
the arroyos so deep and treasure untold
because George left too early
to help his family mine the shaft for fool's gold
two boys and a girl without a father
while Erma smokes, her lungs bleed
she can't make up for his love unreceived
they gather pignon and chili for powder
before the days of harvest leave
to keep them above poverty
ojo caliente can be so cold,
the arroyos so deep and treasure untold
because George left too early*.
to help his family mine the shaft for fool's gold
Erma's daughter dreams of being a nurse
her son to play Spanish guitar
the other wants to run far away from where they are
Erma dreams of what she can't give
her children looking gaunt and thin
and winter coming with its winds
ojo caliente can be so cold,
the arroyos so deep and treasures untold
because George left too early
to help his family mine the shaft for fool's gold
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To him I pass by, unnoticed,
unworthy of time or acknowledgment.
Wearing a mask of cruel, unyielding steel
that lets him see no light in my eyes.
Smothering the sparkle in my smile and dousing the
give away everything my heart is trying to conceal.
He sees nothing but the mask,
while I lie invisible behind his judgments, which have
created my metal prison.
Today I wear a dark fagade
manifested with the insecurities that consume me.
Welcome to the masquerade.
Here you witness a different, unrecognizable me.
Wearing the mask of a writer —
crippled with happiness and woe.
Creating stained pages of
anger and bliss.
To them I am merely a girl —
a confident lacey mask, graceful and sure.
An expressive and eager student
but underneath a hidden, terrified teacher.
The silk mask shows my passion
and reveals my love for you
But the crimson color can only
hide the scars to the untrained eye — colorblind and uncaring
She notices my white mask.
Promising a future full of opportunities,
but she cannot comprehend the lines of worry
and apprehension that linger under the surface.
But she sees what I want her to —
excitement and joy.
They all see what I want them to.
Bits and pieces at a time.
Never unmasking all at once,
playing a new, undefined role for every soul I meet.
The acting is pure I assure you,
and only for my safety.
For when they see my laughter,
feel the emanating joy...
My tears are able to go unannounced,
leaving silent trails of sorrow behind the violet mask of ambition
The colors, textures of my life —
change as quickly and boldly as when the seasons sweep
unsuspecting months off their feet.
a vast array of emotions — countless faces.
But the pretense shall fail and fall,
as all unchained truths must waltz to the forefront of our minds,
pushing back everything we want to be
to uncover who we truly are. . .
A friend. A foe.
The dangling of feet
Sloshing in tepid water
Pools of creation
River pebbles roll
Hundreds among millions
Sharp and pricking rocks
The piercing irritations
A forgotten chore
Hot, sticky asphalt
Leaving footprints of black tar
Underneath the feet
The slick cement reminding
Splinters, small but harsh
Stronger than the calluses
Stubborn to remove
Padding on carpet
Soothing embrace of the home
The creature comforts
Digging toes between
Soft blades of grass, squishy earth
The boar roots
in the loamy ground.
His musk exudes
powerfully from his sebaceous glands.
His tusks are yellowed, yet strong.
He seeks truffles or some similar delight in the soil.
His black eye is on you brightly, glistening.
He is appraising you and it is fight or flight.
The evening comes to Kisatchie.
The bat wings across the gloaming,
etching arabesque arcs into the starry sky.
The fire is smoky and forbidden
on the beach, made from driftwood.
The dog is running wildly
We are smoking grass
and singing old songs on acoustic guitar.
Supper simmers in an iron pot.
Meat sizzles and fat flares up in the fire.
Insects sound in the night.
A raccoon rummages while we sleep.
The owl and the whippoorwill
both make their own separate music.
Dawn comes and the light wakes you.
The world is cold after a night of sleeping.
It is awake and coated with the newness of dew.
Ashes from last night's fire remind me
That the darkness was real,
even in this morning sunlight.
The breeze blows soothingly over my face
from the lookout. I am alone here with other people.
This is the world. These trees and canyons
stretch on without us. We'll leave and they'll wait here
patiently, and if we come back, they'll be. And if we don't,
still they will be. I want to remember this day
with a flat stone etched with your initials.
i\ ir /, u \m \
There was this boy who didn't watch enough TV because his cassette
collection was mountainous. Every day before and after school, he would
have to put on special shoes to just climb over the piles and piles of gray,
black, and white cassette tapes. His stepmother would call for him but he
would run because he knew that she had work for him to do. He would
run over the hills of music and down the hall toward his bedroom ducking
as he slid beneath the mammoth-sized archways that had been natu-
rally created by the sheer pull of gravity on the piles and piles of cassette
tapes. In his room, away from Stepmother, the little boy would play his
cassettes on the tiny pink cassette player that had been given to him by
his sister when she was sent away to the home for troubled girls. One day
he and a friend went to pick up some pizza. The little boy volunteered to
go get the pizza. He stepped out of the minivan dropping cassette tapes
like a bread trail from the van to the Pizza Hut doorway. Standing in line,
he couldn't help but notice everyone stepping on his tapes, breaking them
with a harsh crunching sound. Spools of tape roped out by the children
who would grab them off the ground and try to chew on their boxy sides.
The little boy wanted to die. He couldn't seem to keep his cassettes from
being destroyed. They just kept falling out of his pockets like rain. A tall
man standing in front of him saw this and felt bad for the little boy so he
stepped aside and told the boy he could go in front of him. The boy was
glad and couldn't help but wonder if he'd seen the tall man somewhere
before. Still reaching for escaping tapes, the boy recognized the tall man's
long red hair and tattoos but could not place him. Finally, the pizza was in
the boy's hands and he left just as a kid began to wrap loose tape around
his neck. The pizza made the van smell like pepperoni and extra cheese.
As they rolled down the road, cassette tapes flew out the minivan like
sparks from a broken axle.
Audrey Walton wouldn't notice if a rock stood up and turned into
a bird from the island of her fence-encased backyard. She was too
busy entertaining herself with a Broadway-spectacle sized
imagination. Life was what Audrey made it, and she had to make it
Audrey and her potpie shivered in her kitchen. She peeked
through a crack in the closed blinds shutting out the day.
Everything was still, according to a flash of concrete suburban
"I should open the blinds," Audrey remarked aloud, "but, uhh.
They're so far away."
She bent down over her potpie, her back arched. The steam
floated up and made her eyes water. When she looked through the
crack in her blinds again, the concrete pavement wavered like it was
at the bottom of the ocean, or the bottom of a big fishbowl in which
Audrey and her neighbors lived. She looked at her entire kitchen
this way: the floor where her Calico cat, Flops, had
skidded around just two weeks ago, before it had run away, and the
big brown table that waited for the dullest meals (mostly TV dinners,
but Audrey was going to buy the Julia Child cookbooks soon, very
soon). They looked like they looked when Audrey's allergies were
blowing up and pouring out of her eyes: waterlogged.
"Good thing Flops ran off. He'd be drowning," Audrey remarked to
her potpie. "Or he'd have to turn into a mer-cat, and live under the
She finally took a bite of her dinner. "I don't think I've ever heard
of a mer-cat before. Or even seen one on television. The Disney
movie should have had a mer-cat in it."
She took another bite. Then she frowned.
"Catfish. There's such a thing as a catfish. Damn."
She took another bite.
"And here I thought I was being innovative."
"Maybe Flops will come back today."
One more bite.
She looked down and pursed her lips, defeated.
Outside, an old Calico cat sat near a bush twenty feet away from
Audrey's house. He preened his paws with a tiny pink tongue and gave
a cat-eye glare to Mrs. Cudney, Audrey's neighbor.
"You're sitting by my bush, you disgusting thing," she told the cat
matte r-of-factly. Mrs. Cudney was afraid of cats. She considered their
overall attitude disrespectful and the solitary nature of cats unnatural.
She only knew of two diseases cats could pass to people — specifically,
cat scratch fever and rabies — but she was sure there were more — and
she was certain felines delighted in making healthy humans sick. Mrs.
Cudney gave the cat a dirty look.
The Calico cat didn't much care what Mrs. Cudney thought.
Mrs. Cudney had almost decided to be brave and chase this feral
thing as far from her house and her bush as possible (down the street)
when it occurred to her that the cat in her yard looked strikingly
similar to a flier in her mailbox from two weeks ago concerning her
young neighbor's lost cat. She'd thrown the flier out, but...
Mrs. Cudney hesitated. It probably wasn't the neighbor's cat. This
cat was dirty, its hair caked and weighed down with mud — more like a
pauper than some spoiled little prince housecat. She'd go out of her
way and knock on her neighbor's door for nothing. And what if the
cat was, in fact, the missing cat? It had bolted before, and even if the
neighbor took off like a rocket after this cat, she would never catch
it. Cats scratch the hands that feed them and hiss at hearts that love
them. It wasn't worth the trouble.
Mrs. Cudney inexplicably walked towards the front door of
Audrey's house, shivering just a bit from the faint evening breeze.
She turned and looked at the cat. It returned a hint of a Cheshire
"Good Lord," said Mrs. Cudney, "I'm doing my good deed for
She reached Audrey's door, pushed the doorbell, and instantly
recoiled her finger, as if the doorbell was on fire.
In the shower, Audrey stood under a warm waterfall. She was a
sexy siren on the rocks, a perfect mix of poise and seduction
hidden by the shower mist.
"Sirens need to shave their legs sometimes, though," she said.
She grabbed the razor from the corner of the shower. She twirled
the razor between her fingers while she watched the runoff water
slither down the drain for a moment. She smiled.
She conjured an imaginary mist-made man in the cramped
space in the shower. He swirled together: cork-screw steam for
hair, water drops for lips, and rainbow-almond eyes.
Audrey put down her razor.
Audrey faintly heard the doorbell in the shower. Her island
waterfall cascaded down and splashed around her feet while that
light-hearted thunder pounced across her sky.
Mrs. Cudney had tried. She'd gone above and beyond her
duty — it wasn't fair to say she hadn't tried. She'd rung the
doorbell. When she'd felt she stood at the door two moments too
long, she puckered her lips as an affirmation of her righteousness
and neighborly duty.
With that, she kicked her two stubby legs out from underneath
her and charged at the cat. Frightened, it jumped from the bush
and sprinted away, down the street.
"Filthy little beast," she muttered aloud, despite her gasps for
air. She allowed herself one sigh of tired satisfaction before she
crossed her lawn and went inside.
Audrey yawned. She pulled the covers on her bed back, jumped
in, and buried her bare feet within the sheets. They started to
Staring over her bed, she imagined a dark shadow moving very
delicately, handsomely, like a clever cat friend would. Her sad
smile faded into a neutral expression as she fell asleep for the
'Life among the stars!' they promised,
Back when there was adventure in the world.
Yet we're stranded on this dimming azure jewel,
Boldly going nowhere and shipwrecked at home.
Back when there was adventure in the world,
They promised flying cars and farms on Mars.
Boldly going nowhere and shipwrecked at home,
That's where we are instead.
They promised flying cars and farms on Mars;
We're still grounded, no ascension in sight,
That's where we are instead.
Cosmic dreams pass into celestial delusions.
We're still grounded, no ascension in sight;
They're growing algae in low orbit again.
Cosmic dreams pass into celestial delusions,
And three billion dollars for star-borne pond scum.
They're growing algae in low orbit again,
And they can't figure out why no one cares.
Three billion dollars for star-borne pond scum.
Not exactly capturing imaginations, are they?
And they can't figure out why no one cares,
While we're stranded on this dimming azure jewel.
Not exactly capturing imaginations, are they?
"Life among the stars!" they promised.
My own web of thoughts
Rife with fears that can petrify
And hopes that delude
Tense strings so fragile
Set corded raw through willow
Hung high overhead
Light with shed feathers
Heavy hanging scattered stones
Conflict with gravity
A weave of cobwebs
Spiders crawling in my head
Poison stays my wake
In a straitjacket of sheets
Tortured by Hypnos
Menu for tonight?
Agony, despair, doomsday
A slasher for laughs
The strings hum as their
Aged stones glow by the blood moon
Thrashing in my ears
He's here, his whispers
Rain down from the feathers like
Shimmering dust chokes
I'm caught in his web
Of lies, truths, the death of my
A pale face pressed against the outside of the young girl's window.
White fingers, such a stark contrast to this dark night, pried their way into
the windowsill. Like an oily shadow, the dark creature slid his way into the
He brushed his dark clothes and crept to the side of the girl's bed. So
young, so full of life. The creature cocked his head to the side, listening
with relish to the pulsing of the warm, fresh blood that flowed through her
arteries. There was a glint in the dark as he leaned in close, bringing his
terrible fangs to bare...
Click. The room was suddenly bathed in light and the intruder recoiled,
"Cripes, woman, that's bright! A little warning, would you please!"
Suddenly he was being beaten over the head with a blunt object, a shrill
scream filling his ears.
"What in the blazes are you — ah! Stop it!" His nostrils flared as he
flashed his pointed bicuspids.
His young assaulter froze, a look of awe on her face, "Omigod, you're a
"What do you mean, I'm a vampire..? Aren't you — " he took a glance
around the room. Vampire paraphernalia adorned nearly every inch of
where the pink wallpaper wasn't feebly trying to peek through on the wall.
A knock sounded on the door. "Dear, are you okay in there?" a worried
voice rang out.
"Mom, there's a vampire in my room!" she shrilled gleefully.
"Oh," the alarm seemed to drain from the muffled voice entirely, "that's
nice dear, go to bed."
It's easy to imagine how confused the dark visitor was at this point. Did
he mistakenly sneak into an insane asylum? The girl was staring at him
so hard he was afraid a hole would be burnt into him.
"I think... I think I'm gonna go."
"No! You can't leave; you haven't done any sexy vampire stuff yet!"
"Sexy vamp--? Do I look like a male escort? I am a creature of the
night!" he rose to his full height, "Dark and terrible!"
The girl jumped in place, giggling feverishly.
He deflated, "This is all very confusing..."
"How long were you watching me sleep?" she asked breathlessly.
"I don't— I wasn't watching you sleep! Why would—? I- I wasn't," he
"Do you want to?" she whispered, wide-eyed.
"Wow, that was creepy. I, uh, I think I'm just gonna take off. I'm just
gonna, just gonna... go." He started inching toward the window.
"But you haven't even bitten me yet!" The disappointment in her face
was incredibly sad, in so many ways.
"No, no, I just... things got a little weird with this whole thing. I thought
I'd have a treat tonight but now it just doesn't, just doesn't feel right.
Think I might find a hobo or something. You uh... you have a good
night." He turned around and made to jump out the window.
Then his entire world was bright, shiny stars.
The brightness woke him up. The first thing he noticed was the
"Why the f*** is it daylight!?" He howled, edging away from the thin
beams of light coming from the window. It was difficult, however,
because he was trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey by a combination
of jumping rope and a mountainous amount of dental floss.
"Well, hello Sleepy-head! I didn't want you to leave last night so I,"
here she made a pop noise with her tongue, "gave you a little bonk on
the noggin'." She revealed a dented aluminum bat and gaily tossed it.
LClhV JZtal dwwd
He started to breathe very, very fast. He soon found struggling was
useless. Just how much floss did she use?
"My dad's a dentist," she volunteered. "You know, I got to thinking last
night. Maybe you aren't a vampire. I did't think I could take out a vampire
like that. You're supposed to be like, a superhero or something. Maybe
you're just some creepy dude that likes sneaking into girls' rooms at night.
I think you've got to prove it."
"Well, I could try to hypnotize you, if I weren't concussed" the vampire
"Ooh, I know how to tell. Use some of your vampire powers! What am I
thinking right now?"
"Wait a — What are you on about?! I'm a vampire, not some dime-store
psychic! Just what do you think vampires do?"
"Hm, I know! I'll just take you outside. The sunlight will reveal your true,
beautiful form! Right now, you're kind of musty." She grabbed the end of
the jump rope and began dragging him into the inner hall.
"This is completely unorthodox! Let me go, let me — mind the bumps!"
He tried vainly to chew at his binds, but he just couldn't reach.
She dragged him past the kitchen, where her mother was making
"I'm going out, Mom!"
"Okay, dear, dinner's at five."
"Madam, please, surely this can't be a normal occurrence!"
She shrugged, and sipped her coffee. She had the look of a woman
who wasn't surprised by anything her daughter did anymore.
The vampire struggled at the front door, trying to brace the walls with
"Miss, you cannot take me outside, it's daylight. Don't you know
anything about vampires?!"
She stopped dead, turned and looked him full in the face. There was
never a stare as icy as this one.
"I know everything about vampires."
She threw open the front door, letting in the full force of the
"Now, it's time to — " she turned around, caught by surprise at the dune
of ash and cinders sitting where the vampire had been just moments
She blinked once. Then blinked again.
owen lea died today
wrapped in blood and tissue paper
lying next to a wire coat hanger
strewn on the tiled bathroom floor
his mother hugging her knees in the shower
cold water whipping naked flesh
flagellation for crimes committed
adultery is never forgiven
a tattoo etched in scarlet
cannot be washed nor ripped out
owen lea paid the price
in a match-box coffin placed
near the lilies in the garden lay
like the cat's bones decayed
his father never could face
consequences of betrayal
and in blissful ignorance awaited
her return to his married bed
merely a coward in retrospect
goddamn the booze and cigarettes
owen lea ne'er a child
a wanton wish unduly forgotten
by infidelity and lust suffice
one man's desire; a mother's demise
when he found out
it was cancer
he laughed to himself,
"so much for that"
and refused the
suggestions of experts
he boxed up
and the tell-tales of living,
putting them in storage
waiting for Death
like a dutiful host
this was the reward,
a disease that ate
until he disappeared,
for loving without regret,
being polite and generous,
and for a life of hard work
it burrowed and spread,
each day and each night
collected together like
birthday flowers, a present,
the disease's cake
the host of Death
so polite, so fragile
that he waited
like a dutiful host,
offering another slice
since the day he knew
those who forgot him
came to understand
and with time, remember
other things in their life
while he waited, arms folded
which, in life, he had fought
revenged itself upon his heart
and cut bone to skin
for his guest
was a dark hunger
this was his reward
that his loneliness
would be satisfied
in the last days
who would devour him
have someone enjoy him
and time it is o
v<? pWards 5"
^ with the world
sa 9 e s.6 know ^
qS/vhich way to ^
V? 0) ._ AOV/v
gasih^pS 6 %
\V^ and down-
as a hymn
you cannot hear.
all things tend
in the end;
that which is begun
so long ago
which way to
(sweet, ignorant bliss)
is a form of
knowledge & communion
with the world-soul
and time it is
on, on, on-
onto a level plain
where all things fractured
are forged whole again,
is a tool
often looked at
* * *
would it were the future
we see in that mirrored mercury
window to the past:
figment, a blend
of chemicals become pregnant
& metaphysical with
* * *
all roads lead to Rome
but that's not where you're
or have ever even gone-
all roads lead home.
* * *
I don't hearken to what they say.
the tended hearth never darkens,
yea or nay,
you can, you can, you can,
you can go home again.
* * *
some might mistake it as unfamiliar,
because it is not home, but you that's
a rotten fruit
contains in its
the seed of its own
we all carry pieces
of ourselves (and the past)
inside us--just like peaches.
looking back, we all
began life as blossoms
in others' (sometimes lovers')
birds, and bees, and the
all were wrung gasping into temporality,
grasped from the far-flung reaches of infinity.
a seed is order crystal-
ized in its purest form.
becoming life, so it dies,
and is in death reborn,
not to disorder
(maybe so or not)
but to some higher plane
up a quantum staircase
in a lock-and-dam
lockstep of the metaphysical realm.
struggle we all, to say what we mean
to say, to mean
to live and breathe
among fair time
(that bashful maiden now become
knowing father to us all?).
I cannot conceive eternity
without a sense of entropy...
order is finite
chaos without limit
(unless viewed from a vista
high enough and broad enough
to hold the lives of apples, men, and trees.
to comprehend the turns and retumings of centuries.)
to make the middle age of some, far star
to realize the retirement of a nebula
to distrust the death of a salesman
to nurture a newborn face, to wonder who you are
thrust into this strange place,
gliding gently down
in the soft velvet black silk
of a space beyond space
of a time out of time
of a place further than knowledge of place
of "a roar on the other side of silence"'s
to live with some small sound
to die into silence
the void now becomes
the place you
Ten million stars under the northern Louisiana sky
Sitting on the rooftop with soothingly destructive melodies
Faint cries of joy as the lights soar through the midnight sky
A gentle breeze, a simple touch
Never a wasted moment.
Seemingly silent breaks, anticipating the next burst of multicolored-
Nothing else matters in this blissful solitude.
Looking out beyond the leafy summer trees
The noisy world is distant, yet its fresh life spreads quickly, filling the
Completely engulfing the surroundings with its illuminating brilliance
Peace in its truest form, forever strong.
I was ten,
the winter I got my pink parka.
I was so proud
of the soft blonde fur
that trimmed the hood.
The boys in the higher grades
would chase me around the playground
until I couldn't run anymore,
my lungs burning with the cold.
I fell before they could catch me,
tearing and staining my parka.
When they saw that it was ruined,
they didn't chase me anymore.
We hear it from all of them
everyday of our lives,
from Roosevelt and King,
to Oprah and Springsteen,
Newton and Jesus,
Lennon and Churchill,
They all tell us how best
to do what we will.
The advice is everflowing.
It is easy to get.
It travels through time,
and tells us how time
was well spent,
and now it is on the Internet!
It is advice about power,
patience and mercy, and discipline and
truth and love, peace,
and necessity and drudgery.
What size packages should come in,
how mercy is received,
how things must come down,
and intentions and deeds.
How lucky we are to have great lessons before us.
Desiderata is just another conclusion,
written by someone trying to teach us,
how best to feel,
when life's power gives us,
an indefinite will.
JkU. u. ChtjUtiruxA.
In 1985, on a sojourn to visit family during the holidays, I went shopping
on a dreary day in Indiana between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. As
is usual during the holiday season, I found a parking spot out of eyesight
of the Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After trudging through the
lines of parked cars for what seemed an eternity, I reached the entrance
guarded by two Santa Clauses. Since they only accosted people leaving
the mall, I entered quickly.
The mall was blaring Muzak versions of Christmas songs that have
since become canonized nationwide. The mall mob was a pastiche of
families with screaming children and harried shoppers frantically trying
to get a last minute gift. After shopping for an hour or so, I stopped at a
seating corral just off the main court. Within minutes, the area around
the main court was packed with unwashed humanity. The speakers
announced that Santa was arriving at Glenbrook and those wanting a
picture with Santa should head immediately to the Main Court. Since I
already had a pretty good seat, I decided to see "Santa Claus."
I didn't have to wait for too long before a couple of mall cops
herded some domesticated deer, with reindeer antlers attached to their
heads with Christmas ribbon, into the confined area and attached them
to the sleigh. Unfortunately, they were a few deer short of the number
required to pull Santa's sleigh, but nobody seemed to care. After a little
while, the children on the far side of the Main Court started scream-
ing "Santa." Then an older Caucasian man dressed in the requisite red
clothes jumped onto the sleigh and shouted "On Dancer...." Meanwhile,
a couple of people dressed as elves carried props for the Santa pictures
into a cordoned off area.
The last thing I saw clearly was a deer defecating on the floor as it
continued to munch on its ration of hay. The loudspeakers then
announced that Santa's picture workshop was open and my view of the
Main Court was obscured by a mass of parents and children.
Before I turned away from the pandemonium enveloping the main court,
the middle-aged Caucasian woman sitting next to me said, "Fucking
retards!" A profane rejoinder ready, I turned my head. She wasn't looking
at me, however. Her gaze was fixed on a group of adolescents. A small
group of adolescents with exceptionalities had taken seats behind me
during Santa's arrival. Her glare was fixed on an African-American male
who was rocking and humming to some internal music. The girl next to
him kept calling his name, but he kept rocking and humming. I must have
watched his rhythmic dance for several minutes before I turned back
around to see the Caucasian woman and her husband had returned with
mall security. The mall guard quietly asked the woman in charge of the
group of adolescents to take her charges and leave.
I remember sitting dumbfounded. These students hadn't created a
disturbance. They had maintained the quiet decorum befitting a monk.
While the teacher was getting them ready to leave, the middle-aged
woman said to her husband in an aggravated tone, "Why do they let them
out in public?" I followed the group as they left to apologize for the woman
and her husband's stupidity and lack of humanity. During this time of love
and forgiveness, the mass of people shopping parted like the Red Sea for
Moses as the group of students passed and then quickly closed
behind them again. Someone should have been shouting, "Leper! Out-
cast! Unclean!" since no one dared touch them out of fear of
contamination. I reached the mall's exit in time to see them bathed in a
ray of light that had broken through the clouds. As they left, the light died.
The grey clouds closed again and bled black tears.
there are few
who knew him before
the cutting started
who know the story
about the quarter moon
on the left side of his bac
above the kidney
and not where he intended
there are few
who knew him before
the tall tales he told
about parades and
roadtrips with a band
we have all heard on the radio,
before the cutting started
and the music went away
he cut others
he cut people, like a field medic
until he learned
to turn it upon himself
when he laughed and
made even those who
hated him laugh too
then he felt
the knife go in
that sobered him right up
he went away
on some camping trip,
if I recall
(though it has been awhile)
and came back
with another tale
of Kisatchie Bayou Camp
and the day gone wrong
when he survived
with a pocketknife,
rucksack and the stars
as a compass for the lost
there are few
who knew him before
those scars on his face
that look like age, when there was
still something to cut
with that pocketknife
smile of his which did
just what you think
the knife go in
and that sobered him up
when he returned,
he told how he had
killed something and
carved the meat
with a dull knife
the understanding came later
few would have guessed the truth
and more frequently will not
The coyotes behind my childhood home used to sing-
Howls bursting, spreading dark clouds,
That blanket the night, ebony as it is.
Unseen, they exist together.
I cannot recall, at this moment, or that
Why I smiled at the night sky,
While the coyotes howled beautiful and truculent.
Night after night watching the waves crest
Keeping rhythm with the cyclical light
She stands in serenity atop the lone turret of sandstone
The relic gently draped round her neck, capturing the pearl
The pier drifts out past the dunes
Mist shrouding her in time
In reverie she passes the time
With bare hands open as the silver moon crests
Over a calm sanctuary among the dunes
Reflecting in her eyes, twin cyan pools of light
Rimmed in tears, a cluster of pearls
While pluming flags dance upon a wall of stone
Sight after sight mirrors in the lucent moonstone
Her amulet a pure vessel to another time
She drifts in a nebula of lustrous pearls
As angel wing shells float upon the crests
Willing a token to surface bathed in starlight
She waits in repose unlike the dunes
In constant circulation, restless are the dunes
Ethereal in movement, not so the wall of stone
Its foundation holds her aflight in light
Spiraling in the coils of time
A celestial compass guides her to the midnight crests
To see clouded in darkness, the luminous pearl
Light after light, her hands stroke away the pearls
The gentle breeze sweeps among the dunes
To dust the white wisps gathered upon her crest
For deliverance she stands in living stone
Sensing a tenuous peace echoing in time
And the emerald tidepools rendering light
She is blind in daylight
Her cyan eyes are new moons cast in pearl
She can no longer capture time
Much like an hourglass without a dune
Still prophecy retains her in marbled stone
Stranded like driftwood in the shallow crest
Her eyes radiant in moonlight cast over the dunes
Darkness has crested and her hands swallow her pearls
Still she won't wither in time but quest in cyan eyes of stone
Heaven (There is no circle inside a honeycomb and no one perfect place)
Haven (but sometimes there's granted a time to rest and rebuild inside)
Eave (away from the storm. To dry off by a fire. Hearth. Home.)
Ave (Maria, Mother of God, the Pieta, Michelangelo! To look one day
on your child's eyes for the first time. Such things are -- indelible. Is that
V.E. (Day, all of Europe a burning building smoldering in a collective "what
now?" but soon my grandfather will
return to meet my grandmother, and... and...)
v (...ducks, flying north for the spring together.
I see them, and I
have burning questions
about life and how not to get lost,
but if it were just one, it would be,
"Would you tell me about learning to fly?")
I took a moment out of my day,
And looked up at the blue, blue sky.
The wind took the clouds and whisked them away,
And I watched as they all went by.
I felt as if I had been pulled away,
Out of my shoes and my clothes.
I left behind the rest of my day,
And all my worries and woes.
I could not tell you where I went that day,
Over the hills and far away.
But rest assured, if, caloo callay!
The world should end on some far away day,
I will go back to the place I went that day,
That place in the blue, blue sky,
Over the hills and far away.
Waving to you, as I say goodbye.
When Jimmy Grayson was little, his grandmother told him sto-
ries about a monster that lived in the woods of Stonewash Creek.
"It's tall and hairy." she would tell him, "with glowing red eyes and
claws sharp enough to cut into rocks." It had been the kind of stuff
that terrified him as a kid but he looked back on fondly as an adult.
He had to admit though, now that he was back out at Stonewash
Creek for the first time in fifteen years, that he was more than a
Something had changed in these woods.
Jimmy wasn't sure what it was, but he knew that something was
different. He had grown up running around in the shallow sloughs
and dried creek beds that made up Stonewash Creek. The place
had always been full of squirrel, bobcats, deer, hogs, coyotes... a
menagerie of North American wildlife. Now? Well, he'd started
this hike five hours prior and couldn't remember seeing a single
animal. Hell, now that he thought about it, there weren't even any
The town of Stonewash Creek had basically dried up around the
time his grandmother had passed away. It had never been
exciting, even by small town standards, but a dying economy
turned into a dead economy in only a few short years, forcing
almost everyone to pack up and leave. The place wasn't quite a
ghost town, but it was populated by a skeleton crew. Jimmy had
given this fact some thought in trying to explain the current state of
the woods, but there was no obvious link.
Jimmy scratched his chin as he sat on a large rock and took in
his surroundings. The landscape more or less looked the same.
Old trees had fallen and new growth had taken their place, but
by and large the place seemed untouched by everything but
time. There was something in the air, though... some chill, some
emptiness that Jimmy couldn't quite identify. He knew it was a
crazy thing to think, but despite being out in the open air, he felt
like he was in a morgue. He rolled the mystery around in his head
for several minutes, so intently focused on it that he missed the
sound of rustling brush.
"Howdy!" A booming voice rocked Jimmy back into consciousness.
He turned around to see an older but physically imposing man with a
wild white beard standing on the path he himself had just traveled. It
was a face Jimmy recognized.
"Otto!" Jimmy said warmly. Otto Rains had been Jimmy's grand-
mother's closest neighbor and an infrequent but well-remembered
presence in his childhood. "My God, it's been fifteen years! I as-
sumed you would've left by now."
"Nah," Otto said. "Didn't see the point. Between my pension and
social security I make enough. House is paid for. I own the land and
like it quiet. And it's certainly quiet..."
"Yeah, it is. What's with that?" Jimmy stared blankly at the empty
forest as he asked the question. When he turned around to face
Otto, he found him doing the same. It was subtle, but it filled Jimmy
with a sense of worry.
"Nobody's real sure. Animals started disappearing about six
months ago, but it was slow at first. There'd been a real lean deer
season and by the end nobody was bagging anything. Then about a
month ago, the trickle turned into a flood. You'd walk these trails and
not see or hear a damn thing. It's like everything from mosquitoes to
buzzards just up and left. All at the same time..." Otto stared at the
sky as his words drifted off.
"So nobody has said anything?" Jimmy asked.
"Oh no, people have asked about it," Otto replied. "In fact, a few
weeks ago we had a couple of biologists from the university drive up
to take a look. They spent a few hours out here then said 'We're not
sure, but climate change is a likely factor.' Buncha horseshit if you
"Drive fifteen miles over to Frerley and nothing's changed at all. It's
something about these woods, but damned if I know what it is."
"And nobody has seen anything at all?"
"Well, the only clue anyone has is a dead coyote found by Doc
Shibe, the veterinarian. He found it while walking on the side of
the road about three weeks ago and took it back to his office to
look at it. I don't really know what he found. We don't have any
livestock anymore so I don't get a chance to talk to him much.
You may want to drive over and talk to him, see what he says if
you're that interested."
"You aren't interested?"
"I guess I am," Otto said. "But I'm also old enough to know that
sometimes answers don't come easy for a reason."
Jimmy rolled the last comment around in his head for a few
seconds before realizing that Otto was attempting to make an
exit. Composing himself, he shook the older man's hand, told
him how great it was to see him, and let him go on his way.
"Well, I can't honestly explain it scientifically," Doc Shibe said
as he pulled the door open on a giant deep freezer, "but if you
held a gun at my head and forced me to describe it, I'd tell you
this animal was still alive when it started to rot."
"What, like a flesh eating virus or something?"
"No, that's the thing... no viruses or bacteria came back from
the culture. According to the heart and liver temperature, this
coyote died no more than an hour or so before I walked by. But
the thing was half rotten. Whole parts of the body were
Doc Shibe stopped talking as he removed the corpse from the
freezer and laid it out on a stainless steel table to allow for a
better look. The coyote was divided into two almost perfect
halves, with the front legs and head being mostly normal. The
back half, however, was blackened and malformed. Though Doc
Shibe described it accurately, Jimmy was still shocked at the half
healthy, half diseased look of the animal.
"And what's even stranger is that there were no maggots on the
necrotized portion," Shibe said. "Actually, now that I think about it, there
were none on the healthy tissue, either. Normally flies would be all over a
corpse like this in minutes."
"And you've got no explanation?"
"No," Shibe said. "I don't. As far as I know there's nothing that explains
something rotting before it dies with no viral or bacterial agent present.
But I do have a sneaking suspicion that this is what's responsible for the
large-scale animal disappearance. At least in part."
"You think this happened to all of them?"
"Some maybe, but not all. But... well, it may be better if I just show you."
Shibe left the room for a moment and returned carrying a cage that
contained a large white cockatiel. Jimmy had seen it sleeping in the
waiting area when he first entered the office.
"This is Icarus," Shibe said. "He's an exceptionally well behaved bird
most of the time. But watch this." Shibe set the cage next to the coyote's
corpse and the previously docile bird immediately erupted into a frenzy
of loud squawks and flapping wings as it tried furiously to claw its way
through the metal bars. Shibe relented after less than a minute and
removed the cage from the room, his point made. He returned to the
examining room, placed the coyote's corpse back into the freezer, and
then turned to wash his hands.
"Whatever this is, animals know that it's bad news. I think that the
reason the woods are silent is because they've left. Run away. Fled in
terror from whatever you want to call. ..that. You told me you talked to Otto
Rains, didn't you? And he said something about there being plenty of
animals over in Frerley?"
"Yeah, I ran into him on the old hiking path," Jimmy said. "Why?"
"Whatever this is... one, more than one, whatever... I think it's staked a
territory around Stonewash Creek and just about every single living thing
that can leave has left."
"So, what you getting at?"
"What I'm getting at is that I think something caused this coyote to start
rotting while it was still alive. I'd call it an infection, but there's no evidence
of one. Still, that's the only word I can come up with. Something infected
this coyote with whatever this is, and I think it's still out there. At first I
thought this was it, but it's been three weeks and nothing has come back.
Not a bird, not a squirrel, nothing. Something's still out there. I don't know
if it's a thing, animal, man, plant, or none of the above. But whatever it is.
it's still somewhere in Stonewash Creek.
"So, what happens now?"
"Nothing," Shibe said. "I don't have any real evidence, nobody would
take me seriously, and I don't even know what to look for. Maybe
something will turn up eventually, but until it does there's nothing of value
I or anyone else can do."
"Well, I guess I could go look around..." Jimmy was somewhat shocked
that he seemed to be volunteering to play detective, but the state of the
woods was simply too bizarre to ignore. "I'm in town for another day and I
was planning to camp the last night anyway. I doubt I'll find anything, but
I'll keep my eyes open."
The two men shook hands and parted ways.
Jimmy had spent the majority of the day covering as much ground as
he could, but had seen nothing unusual. The woods were as empty as
they'd been two days earlier, but otherwise things looked normal. The
fading afternoon light was quickly giving way to night, so he decided to
set up camp in a small clearing several miles deep in the woods, an area
he hadn't explored very well, even in childhood. Jimmy couldn't help but
believe that these woods felt dead, even more so than his previous visit.
As Jimmy sat in front of the fire, he rubbed his hands together and
took in the scenery around him. Night had completely set in and had
brought with it even more of a chill. While there had always been
plenty to be afraid of in the woods of Stonewash Creek, the outdoors
had never bothered Jimmy. Tonight, though... tonight was different.
He focused on the fire's warmth and sound, which stood in stark
contrast to the cold silence of the forest.
Jimmy's attention being otherwise occupied, the rustling sound
that came from behind his campsite went unnoticed. Only after it
had grown steadily louder did Jimmy finally recognize it. He paused
for a moment to make sure it wasn't his imagination, then turned his
head in the general direction of the noise. The light provided by the
fire was inconsistent, but Jimmy thought he could make out a figure
through the trees, fifteen or twenty yards away.
"Hello?!" Jimmy yelled louder than he meant to and an echo rang
through the woods. There was no reply, but the figure started
moving slowly towards him. It was difficult to make out, but it
seemed as if the figure was a man, moving as if crippled. The mo-
tions were slow and stunted, and as it drew closer Jimmy saw that
it seemed to be shuffling more than walking. Slowly the figure drew
closer until Jimmy could just barely make out the now recognizable
"Otto? Is that you? What are you doing out here at this hour?"
The figure stopped moving, but there was no reply.
"Otto? That is you, isn't it?" Jimmy asked, but he was certain it
was. The only reply was silence.
Slowly Otto resumed movement in Jimmy's direction, and within a
few seconds he was close enough that Jimmy could see the
features of his face. Otto's white beard was stained crimson by
fresh blood and his skin had turned a pallid shade of gray. Otto wore
the same clothes he had two days previous, but they were stained
with mud and blood. His left sleeve was ripped apart and it looked as if
something had clawed his skin. His once bright and cheerful eyes had
now given way to black voids that had fallen deep into their sockets,
and his mouth hung open as if he wanted to yell in pain. Jimmy was hit
by the sudden sickening stench of rotting flesh.
As Otto drew ever closer, Jimmy noticed that his clawed arm resem-
bled the rot he had seen on the coyote's dead body. Recoiling in terror,
Jimmy tried to shout, but Otto moved suddenly, wrapping his large
hand around Jimmy's neck. Jimmy struggled, but his attempts to free
himself were futile.
Jimmy felt Otto's hot, rancid breath on his face as his body went limp.
Exhausted and unable to breathe, Jimmy lost consciousness in the
heart of Stonewash Creek.
Oats ^ HJ^e c lnot tajgier"
T^xjl ring giWs
Tlx ey stai^cl, those
kittens, guardians to
the gate of a SECRET
Aiirorlci to Tivkiclx
no girl should
wan de r.
Black and white veiled my past,
trapping me within myself,
in a box with invisible walls.
Viewed as a mime,
fated to explore the extensive barriers
of my entrapment, for eternity
feeling around for any escape
with my white cotton gloves...
...when one day, something touches me, a drip of paint
on my shirt. And I think to myself, "What could this be?"
As I run my fingers over the spatter on my shoulder,
I am startled by its eloquence. When my eyes focus
on the color, I'm set on fire by its brilliant red hues.
Instantly, I am freed from my accursed containment, stripped of
deceitful attire. And as I strain to see through the flood in my
I sprint to where the artist, who unknowingly awakened me
with this drop, illustrates his world. How I wish to be drenched
in the pigments of his passion! Eagerly, I tap on his shoulder
and reveal to him my fervent desire. He turns to me with a tender
Without saying a word, he takes my hand in his and positions
the brush in my fingers. Together we choose the paint,
lay the brush on the canvas, and with each stroke
we begin to depict our two lives... AS ONE...
I know you want me
in measured metrics
to be longer
or thicker with meaning
that you can be satisfied.
Sorry I don't satisfy you
and please your palate with my love
that my most intimate efforts
when poetry should be concise.
Flip the page.
Flip me over like you flip a mattress
and let your horny mind
find a new master
who speaks to you
and fulfills the longings.
How they burn inside you.
Let another lover touch you
where you need it most
while you sit there, judging me still,
calling me a bad lover because
I can't get you pregnant with my poetry.
Get off already.
Go touch yourself
and read the bathroom stalls
I know how that turns you on
with non-imaginary pictures
you literate whore.
From one thing, another
Or so Darwin claimed.
Which makes one wonder
From what species you came.
there's a squirrel in the rain
causin' trouble with a jane
and she thinks it's my headache
honey i may be a policeman
but you're the one that stole his snowflake
there's an ocean in front of me
but i've made no ripple
standin' on the corner
and waitin' on my sqeeze
she's my crutch and i'm her cripple
up and down on the sidewalk
not left to right
is every person i don't want to see out tonight?
they wanna share with me
but i don't wanna stay
they got good news
and i got nothin' to say
i wanna step in peace
but it seems my feet catch every crease
along the way
train up a child in the way he should go
and the things he should know will come back when he's old
shit. shit. shit.
i'm workin' fifteen hours for fourteen dollars
with a man for a mentor that would'a been a scholar
he said a train yard ain't no place for a kid like me
i guess the world's just harder than he thought it would be.
there's a man in a box
that i disregard completely
on top of the rocks
where the river flows neatly
i guess the world's just tougher than i thought it would be
i need somethin' to repeat
i guess people are more thoughtless than i thought they would be
i'm walkin' west to east
i'm walkin' hard to easy
i'm walkin' revolutions west to east
and i'm getting nowhere
no, not getting nowhere
i guess the world's just bigger than i thought it would be
Wanted: Someone willing to do
The right thing, simply because
It is the right thing to do...
One who longs to see the world
Through a child's eyes
Despite never having a childhood...
Someone who has the courage
To change, when to change is to
Let go of everything he's ever known...
One who can allow himself
A moment to mourn over the loss
Of a child he never knew...
Someone who periodically hands over
A pocket full of change to the lonely drunk
And never tells a soul...
The one who would have no problem politely
Informing the potential home wrecker,
"Everything I've ever needed is at home."
If interested: Please know,
Although you are the minority,
You are not alone, she's still out there....
The Nice is part of me
the way that my bones and blood and organs
are part of me
I sometimes want to rip it out
nothing to numb
the pain of the procedure
just calmly insert my hand
into my body
wrap it tightly around the Nice
viciously twist and pull
until it separates from the rest of me
and I can hold out my arm and watch
as it lies writhing and pulsing in my hand
until it dies
Then I wonder if the Nice might be
such an integral part
of who I am
that its loss would alter me
I'll keep the Nice in me.
Until I can't anymore.
OdSU to- lOtjxJUux4>
"No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman
in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident; just as no Apollonian poet can
perform his proper function unless he lives under a monarchy or a
quasi-monarchy. A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him
the embodiment of the Muse...
But the real, perpetually obsessed Muse-poet distinguishes between the
Goddess as manifest in the supreme power, glory, wisdom and love of woman,
and the individual woman whom the Goddess may make her instrument. ..The
Goddess abides; and perhaps he will again have knowledge of her through his
experience of another woman..."
Robert Graves in The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth
I saw the almost full moon
tonight among the dimmed stars.
Almost but not quite
full it was, waxing gibbous.
It rode in splendor through the pomp
of the zodiac. At its right stood strong Taurus,
with Orion and the big dog attendant.
On its shoulder the plough Auriga anchored.
Later the clouds were banked
by its light in a streak across the sky
And, later still, it peeped
through the black skeletons of winter trees.
The ghostly light made shadows of the trees.
It shined weakly through the horizon's haze,
I stood its captive in my gaze.
The moon, the moon was queen tonight
of all she sees, of all purveys.
If I linger longer than the cold invites
from the front porch I can see the movement
of her sinking, she is in flight.
From that dawn that denies this nocturnal,
silvery light, that now washes
over the fields of mundane days.
They are rendered mystic in this light.
The moon is magic
and, tonight baptized in silver fire,
all the world's asleep at night
knowing not this moon's desire
at the manic mounting phase
of her roundness, her regal splendor.
The apogee of aristocracy, the queen
of all the night whose tribute one knight
I mark this moon of quiet flame, ablaze.
Parting ways I watch her sink
Not taking time to stop and think
Rushing to write, for pen and ink.
She is lovely, how I cannot say.
No camera can capture the subtleties
of this lunar rapture, the gravity
she wields pulls at my heart,
My core, my spirit soars
My mind is sore from lack of sleep
Her reach is long and deep
Into the sea, the womb, the tide
On a silver string of stars she rides
and bids mournful goodbyes while
drifting out of sight
before first light
and all that is dawn inexorable
its coming heralded by singing,
triumph of victory from the east,
while the moon retires and almost
impalpably hums softly, it croons
its song. A more minor, a more
melancholy, a more motherly
tune. How forlornly calls the loon.
Whooooooo are you calling
but me to my bed and rest and dreams,
respite from my pen and paper, the tyranny of
the sleep I have which you affect
even after you've long set.
LOcLvta- Umjuo- -d-
EilphxiuU odud OroJnJU.
Once we were two bored teenagers aged 17 so we ran away together not
in our bodies but in our minds. Do you get me? We jumped from
Australia (why Australia?) to Paris (beautiful but snotty) to Saudi Arabia
(vaginas permitted but strongly discouraged!) to Oregon (trees and
coffee. Huh.). We were still bored. You smoked too much and turned
ugly, and I played songs that went on for hours at a time. So then you
asked me to dance and we did, home in Louisiana, because we had
traveled the world over and why be bored in Paris when you can be bored
AND understood in the States? We danced among the mosquitoes and
egrets and the long southern drawl because that's our heritage and we
were pretend lovers for a while. My palms got sweaty in the swamps
though, and you accused me of being bored here too. I confessed that
I was and then you confessed so were you. We dropped to our knees
in despair. Then the Big Daddy toads started croaking for flies, and we
started laughing and haven't ever stopped. We're in hell, we decided, if
we can see everything there is to see and not be impressed. At least it's
just hell though, because here we can laugh and not be split in two by a
giant lightning bolt, or be love-bombed by total strangers who smell like
avocados and money. So we were young, happy, and in love with not
being in love.
And that's it.
"Remind me, what are we looking for again?" Her question
went unheard, as he was intently shuffling through the sea of
books upon which they sat. She picked up a nearby book and
threw it at him. It landed on his head.
"Ouch!" he exclaimed. "What?"
"What are we looking for?"
He rubbed his head, gazing at the books before them; they
stretched for miles.
"We're looking for a book called Love. It will tell us everything
about love and how it works."
She observed the books as well. "There must be thousands
"Hundreds of thousands," he corrected. He continued dig-
ging through the books, throwing them everywhere in appar-
She continued searching too, albeit reluctantly. "I seriously
doubt we'll find this book," she commented.
"We will," he replied, "...we have to."
They searched. And searched. And continued to search for
what seemed like days.
"It's pointless," she said, gasping for breath. "We won't find it."
He was furious in his search; he never gave up. "It's fine, take
a break. I'll keep looking." Sweat drenched his shirt; his face was
scarred with fatigue. There was no way he could keep going, she
thought to herself.
She sighed, and looked away. In the distance she spotted an
old book with what appeared to be an inscription similar to the one
they were looking for. She stood and staggered over to it.
"LOVE," it said, in large, fading gold letters. This was it. She had
"Here! I found it!" With renewed strength, she waved it high over
her head so he could see it.
He immediately stopped searching and turned to see it for him-
self. He could hardly contain his excitement.
"Open it! What does it say?"
She dusted off the cover of the book and carefully opened it.
After a moment, she looked up.
There once was a bear from Care-A-Lot
He sighed and grunted and whined a lot
He lived on a cloud, always under a shroud
He wasn't too jolly... happy he was not.
Y-./iur . *- |
l4» .X ■ •» »^ «* ~
fluit j&st ibs-
There she go:
Know she ain't got no money
'Cause she ain't got no job
Been waitin' years for her to wipe that smile off her face.
No worries, you'd think
But I know that's a lie
Ain't got nothin' to do
'Cause she ain't got no place to go
Been waitin' years for her to wipe that smile off her face.
Make me sick
Same old dirty cup out for change
Same old dirty sign
Same old saying:
"Homeless and Hungry.
Mama make me drop off a quarter every day
Before I go to school.
Make me sick, today more than yesterday,
and yesterday more than the day before that.
"Thank you, kindly, Miss. God bless you."
She smiles. I am mad!
I see it all in one big flash:
"Why you always smiling like you ain't homeless?"
You ain't got nothing to be smiling about.
I bet it's cause my mama make me give you money every day?
I bet it's cause you done suckered out so many people you rich?
I bet you ain't even homeless. When we drive by at night, you ain't here.
Where you go, then? I saw a show on T.V. about people like you.
I told my mama you was a crook, but she don't wanna listen.
'No she ain't, Lucille,' she say. "Now go take her this money.
It ain't much, but it's all we got. And stop being so mean!"
"Mean? I ain't mean. She the one mean, foolin' all these people!"
I wait. (She looks.)
I wait with my hand on my hip. (She looks with a smile on her face.)
I'm mad. (She ain't.)
I'm sho' nough mad! ("Little one, the joy of the Lord is my strength.")
I look straight at her, but
Ain't nothin' changed:
I'm mad. (She ain't.)
Sweet, dizzying perfumes of sex singe the nostrils
At the crime scene (but not forgotten). A record....
Spinning, and outside the children remind me of Magellan-without
Mercy, without glory. A bicycle lies in shambles near the place
Of least suspicion. You should have seen her;
Her hands told a different story than her words:
Teeth clacking and fumbling syntax, fingers dancing a ballet
On the coaster. A photograph of an obese
Hummingbird haunts the kitchen, where
The knives warred with the spoons.
A taxi will carry sins across the River Styx.
An ambulance is the hero's chariot.
Lamenting howls from a heart-broken cat echo
In a white room, where black night shines
Through the Venetian blinds. Urine hits the palate
And the faint gurgle of a toilet permeates the walls
From the upstairs apartment.. .or is it coming from
Too tired to tell, the sated spirals of the notebook
Insist on my return home. I sneeze.
Nothing more to see here.
these dual identities
of clouds and shadows
underneath interior-covered skies
grey it was, or so the memory goes
grey it was, or so the memory goes,
the tales of romance and piracy
hands slipping under shirts
as the identities rubbed against one another
the identities rubbing against one another
waiting (or was it that simple?),
in coy frustration
for something that would never come
neither identity coming
except when they were alone
with one another
no, no, you misunderstand the riddle
you misunderstand the riddle
of how it was and is and will be
underneath interior-covered skies
there was and is and will be
there is and was and will be
to the things unsaid and undone
the events of people
who weren't themselves
who weren't themselves and yet
weren't they the same?
a thrill like lightning
to make a grown man
stand up straight
every hair stand up straight
from stick to sternum,
every piece of him alive
and stunned as if charged
as if charged by a natural event,
that's what they call it, isn't it?
when two bodies, two identities
rub against one another?
rubbing against one another
with so many protons and electrons
it will shock everyone who touches them
a resident power so palpable
that it had the potential to kill
if it was touched
like Sleeping Beauty's spindle
the beautiful spindle
within the deficit of fairy tale
where no princes in white Fords
roam empty streets which lead to
empty streets lead to parking lots
and baseball fields
(did they not see how immature?)
did they not see how immature,
how positively (and negatively)
childish it was
with romantic ideas of love and eternity?
so one identity said to the other,
"Jenny" (because that's what he called her)
"Jenny," he said, "I can't live a life like this
where it's always a secret."
"Where we, just by being ourselves,
can kill anyone who touches us"
(so said the proton to the electron),
and do you know what she said?
do you know what she said,
which killed him?
yes, that very thing
that very thing is what killed him
fill in the blank
like a Mad Libs, only this
is and was and will be no children's game
I love the open road.
It's about rolling my windows down just a crack, leaning back, and
feeling the air around me.
It's about smelling the freshly cut grass on the highway at the exact
time the song playing reminds me of the days my mom would wake
me up mowing our two acres by herself.
It's about that one song I listen to over, and over, and over again,
going through so many emotions: excited at first, then sad,
then angry, nostalgic, happy, and everything in-between.
It's about that huge cherry coke I got from Sonic so I don't have to
stop this wonderful ride.
It's the amount of times I rehearse my next conversation with you,
and the amount of times I go over the last.
I love following directions and
getting them right because
at the end of the tunnel you are the light —
you. are. my. direction.
Come on a road trip with me.
I want to drive you around and show you my world and I want to see
I'll give you a guided tour of
every part of me.
We'll go down each old road of
each old path of
and then build roads that last.
Let's make it a journey through each other and let's plan it fast
because I've got places to go and things to do and songs to listen to
And I don't want to settle down, yet, because
you and I...
we're as steady as a river but we've got the passion of a fire,
so no matter where we rest our head we can
knowing no one else will bring us higher — not
higher than I am right now with you. Even if they do
it will never compare because you keep me,
the seeker, the driven one,
and I keep you,
the metronome, the loyal one,
I have so much gratitude for you so I'll never give you
attitude unless you start to become someone else.
We are on a road trip together. We go through a lot
and sit in different seats sometimes, but we're in the
We're singing the same songs, seeing the same fields,
the same things - each other.
finally got a hold of that
You say that you're broken. Damaged. I tell you that we all are in some
way. I try to see your wounds, to surreptitiously sneak a peek at the
residual damage you claim. Each time I get almost close enough to catch
a glimpse, you remind me about the movie. I get it. You're not the good
guy. You're not the hero. This is how every prison rape scene starts. I
get that. I see what you're doing and I know why. Did you ever stop to
consider that maybe heroes and perfections aren't for everyone? You
eventually extend your hand for me to hold. As I reach out to take it,
I notice that the tips of all of your fingers are missing down to the first
joint. So that's what you carry in your left front pocket. For luck? How
did I miss the obvious? I know you're a thief because of what you took
from me. I wrap my perfect, whole hand around your mangled one and
J to, CMbdtiU iittuu.
While I appreciate the fact that there was urgent work that required your
undivided attention in the Congo, I felt that you may like to know that
Aunt Janet suffered a serious fall yesterday. According to the doctors,
she is likely to be in the hospital for quite some time. Having no other
recourse, Aunt Janet has informed me that I am going to be staying with
her co-worker Glenda and her family. I am fine with this, but I sincerely
hope that this is no impediment to my studies. I don't foresee any prob-
lems, but I thought I would let you know regardless. By the time this has
reached you, I expect to be back at Aunt Janet's. I hope your study of
the great apes is going well.
Your work sounds so interesting! I truly envy you!
I thought I would let you know that Aunt Janet's rehabilitation
is not going quite as quickly as hoped. I have been living with
Glenda and her family for close to two weeks now, and though
I am trying to make the best of the situation, the culture shock
is severe. Though I have made every attempt at courtesy and
always refer to Glenda as "Ms. Rogers," she has repeatedly told
me to call her "Big" Glenda. This name, she says, comes not
only from her size (which I can assure you is substantial), but
also because she's "larger than life." I'm not exactly sure what to
make of that.
"Big" Glenda (pardon the familiarity, but she has threatened
physical violence and I must accustom myself to the usage of
this name. She was not joking about the violence, by the way.) is
a very... intense woman. She is not so much a person as a tsu-
nami of white trash, and adjusting has been extremely difficult
for me. I am sharing a room with her two sons, Bean and Pretty
Boy. Those are not nicknames, but their given names. "Big"
Glenda proudly showed me Pretty Boy's birth certificate. Techni-
cally, his first name is Pretty and his middle name Boy, which I
found odd, but did not comment on. I am being forced to share a
bed with Pretty Boy. He does not shower.
Hopefully this inconvenience resolves itself soon.
I am taking things in stride, but it looks as if I shall be staying with Big
Glenda for the foreseeable future. Aunt Janet is no better and simply not
capable of looking after me. You have six more months in the Congo,
yes? Big Glenda has told me that I am welcome to stay for the duration,
but that I must "earn my keep." I am more than willing to do so, but I am
not sure rolling her marijuana cigarettes is an efficient use of my time. At
the rate she goes through them, I am likely to spend next Saturday doing
nothing but "rolling joints" as Big Glenda calls it. While I know the usage
of cannabis is illegal, I must note that Big Glenda is far more tolerable
when under its effects. She even sat through my rendition of Hamlet's
soliloquy and complimented me on my performance. Of course, this per-
formance occurred in her living room and was initiated by her request that
I "dance like a monkey" for her entertainment. The soliloquy was an idea I
put forth as an act of compromise. I felt we both walked away pleased.
Pretty Boy was arrested yesterday for attempting to steal the tires off of
a police car... while the officer was still inside. This was purposeful on his
part, as he remarked to me "Hey, watch this!" shortly before attempting it.
I am not entirely sure that Pretty Boy is functioning at the full intellectual
capacity of an individual his age. He has on numerous occasions hinted
to me that he believes himself to have the ability to turn invisible.
I have thus far played along, but I must confess that I see this ending only
L 3hu CMutiui iittuu.
I implore you not to worry. I am in no more danger at the Rogers
household than you are living with the great apes in Africa.
You'll be happy to know that I received a 4.0 for the quarter, and
won the science fair with a homemade construction of a Jacob's
Ladder. I would have enclosed some photos, but Bean and Pretty
Boy appropriated the device, convinced that they could use the
electricity to kill all the fish in the pond behind the house. It did not
Big Glenda is taking me to the shooting range tomorrow. She
insists that someone like me needs to know how to defend them-
selves. I recommended Jiu Jitsu, but she replied that the best way
to avoid a fistfight was to "blow the bastards away until there ain't
nothing left but pulp." Pardon the terminology, but that is an exact
quote. I'm not sure who "the bastards" are exactly, but I feel that
Big Glenda's ex-husband may be among their number. Pretty Boy
and Bean are under the impression that he is a field operative
for the CIA, but Big Glenda has confessed to me that he was last
known to be working as a male prostitute in Dallas, TX.
I hate to cut this short, but I volunteered to help burn excess Styro-
foam behind the house. I think Big Glenda intends to BBQ over it.
While I appreciate your concerns, please don't worry. I am doing more
This past weekend I got to meet Big Glenda's oldest daughter, Sunny.
She works as an exotic dancer in Las Vegas and, as Big Glenda de-
scribed it, is the first member of the Rogers family to have graduated col-
lege. I am not sure, but I don't think "Madame Rouge's College of Seduc-
tive Dance" is an accredited institution. Still, like you I value education,
and it heartens me to see someone further themselves in this world.
This weekend we all have backstage passes to see Poison in concert.
I'm not sure what "Hair Metal" is exactly, but Big Glenda assures me that
it is an "important facet of American history." My words, not hers. Appar-
ently she once served as a member of the road crew, and suspects that
Sunny's father may be a member of the band.
I am not altogether comfortable with some of the things Big Glenda
shares with me.
No, there is no need to come home early. Your work with the apes is
far more important, and I can handle any situation that arises here.
Aunt Janet is doing well all things considered, but is still going to be
hospitalized for the foreseeable future. You should have told me she
was once addicted to painkillers, however. I fear I may be respon-
sible for something dire.
This past weekend I went to the movies with Big Glenda, Sunny,
Pretty Boy, and Bean. Big Glenda said that it would be a good idea
to sneak in all our own food, so I ended up bringing in two cans of
sweet potatoes. Not a traditional cinema food, but the Rogers fam-
ily is not traditional in many ways. We ended up seeing a film called
"Passion in Paradise." Big Glenda is a huge fan of the "erotic thriller"
genre. Indeed, just the other day we all gathered around the TV to
watch Mickey Rourke's "9 and a Half Weeks." I must confess, this
film raised far more questions than it answered, and I feel that there
are things you have not adequately explained to me as a parent.
For the past week, Big Glenda has been training me to spot and
avoid security cameras. She has not yet told me what this is for, only
that she has "something big" planned. When I offered my concerns
about the legality of this potential plan, she laughed and said, "Who's
the government to tell us what we can and can't do?" I'm not entirely
sure I agree, but I must confess that her philosophy on rules evokes
Ayn Rand in a number of ways. I mentioned this to her, but she
seemed to be confused and kept remarking about a band called "A
Flock of Seagulls." I'm not entirely sure what she was getting at, but
then I find I rarely am.
L 3hu CMutU tjttuu.
This letter is being written from jail, although we hope that
Aunt Janet will have the bond posted soon. Perhaps you were
right — It may be a good idea to return to the States. The list of
charges is long.
I did not confess to anything, but I have a feeling that they
are assembling an exceptionally strong case. Just letting you
To be alone
Time set apart
Wanted me near
Knew I had their hearts
Things to do
Without family — you!
Enjoyed it all
Happiness set apart
Asked me to come
I would refuse
One day they assumed
Better things to do
Happy when I knew
Wanted me with you
Given up at last
No longer was I asked
Felt so alone
Stranger in their home
Children will be grown
I choose each day
Never be replaced
Wife and children
Empty daddy space
To ask for daddy
Those days have passed
It's expected now
Daddy takes a pass
Didn't ask this time
If I would come with you
Dear family assumed
Had better things to do
the woods were a quiet place
where trees could fall
and the sound they made
nobody really cared if they heard or not
so I took my shotgun and
a knife (just in case) because
sometimes it's not as easy as it seems
to kill a tree
blast and a recoil
to the bushy top
hairy leaves scattered
it's just a game, right?
nothing too dark
or sinister here
have you ever been in the woods at night?
it's there that nobody really cares
if they hear or not
when trees fall and die
I'd say that's pretty dark and sinister
I lie awake at night,
in your bed, white sheets orange batik duvet
from one of the many tours you took before my time,
my cheek creased in your pillow,
the aroma of a counterfeit spring clinging in nasal passages.
My body is pressed against yours,
your thigh grasped between mine.
Somewhere between crickets and mourning doves,
you turn towards me,
a security blanket crafted of skin stuffed with tissues
the covering scarred form picking at scabs, imperfections.
I lean into you, my black whole eats away at your body
with the help of shadows, swallowing gulping
shoulders, calves, nipples, cock —
as my soul remains a raw angry spectrum of bruises,
horrible yellows and purples and blues.
Seed grows cold in corpses and I have yet to live.
I will away my emptiness when I feel you inside me,
the pulse through your body into mine for moments
I am the second coming.
"Is this register open?"
"Do you have this in stock?"
I'm only here in body;
I'm just ridin' out the clock.
"Can you do a price check?"
"Does this come in another color?"
I feel like I've been here all day,
But I'm stuck here three more hours.
I smile at the old lady
Who has to write a check
Because I'll go to jail,
If I wring her by the neck.
I'll pick up all the candy
That kid just threw on the floor,
But I'll curse him from behind
As he's walking out the door.
My boss will get a bonus
If I push the hot new item;
I think it's a piece of crap,
And tell 'em not to buy 'em.
Stuck here in this retail hell,
I don't know if I can make it.
I'm always polite and happy,
But, believe me, I've learned to fake it.
You throw in some crawfish and shrimp etouffee,
Then add a HP jambalaya
Wit' some dirty rice to taste.
Add yo' hot sauce,
And Tony Chacheres,
There are only a couple more things
This gumbo gone need...
Put in some fried chicken,
Greens, and combread,
Don't forget to add the frog legs.
Sprinkle some smothered pork chops,
And chicken fried steak,
Gumbo's almost done,
But I don't think I can wait!
Add just a pinch of dumplings,
And biscuits wit' sausage gravy,
And a lot of butter
Will make it savory.
Then last but not least add sweet tea,
Of course the pot gone have to be jumbo,
Cuz everybody gone be wanting this gumbo!
Here it comes.
The itchy, uncomfortable feeling
Starting to engulf your senses
With the wrinkle of your nose
And the scrunch of your face
The dust particles that were so peacefully resting in your air holes
A sudden windstorm comes and blows them out into space
Automatic, monotonous "Bless You"s fill the room.
"Thank you," I say.
Why do people say "bless you?"
Is it because my heart just stopped?
Or is it because evil spirits filled my body when I sneezed?
Haha, I think to myself
I just died. I am... a death conqueror.
I smile at my amazing death defying skills.
Do others think the same thing when they sneeze?
Do the random thoughts of constant "why?"s roam their minds?
Another girl with bright red strings growing from her head exclaims.
Again... here comes the robot-like "Bless You"s
I turn and stare at her pensively.
Hmm, does she think about other people thinking about what people think
If she does... we are perfect for each other.
Glowing strings of fire... I think I love you.
But if that is not true
I am but lonely in my thoughts.
A little world of my own,
The same as no one else's.
He sits there,
Still and Alone...
Cold, Sick, and Silent...
Scared and Anxious too.
Stressed and Nervous,
Sees no change at all...
All he Needs to do is Dance.
All he Needs to do is Dance.
When, all he Needs to do is Dance.
All he Needs to do is Dance.
All he Needs to do is,
Back to where he was and where he came from.
He forgot the movement he grew into,
The movement which taught him,
To be happy — happy feet, little tiny feet,
Dancing away in his mother's kitchen at the tender age of two.
Who's to say why he forgot the movement,
He just Forgot,
Who he was and still is...
To his tiny dancing shoes,
Put them on once more,
And change his life.
He needs to
Black and white will become color,
He will be held together forever,
His youth will meld with his future. . .
He does have one to Dance for.
Broken bones speak subtle tones of defeat.
Huddled figures are fallen Titans, so old,
Molding one mound of marrow missing meat.
Mighty tusks, uproot the earth! On a sheet
Of history, these mastodons have told—
Broken bones speak subtle tones of defeat.
Femurs of behemoths lie in the street.
Bleached bones bake in the sun, freeze in the cold,
Molding one mound of marrow missing meat.
To mass graves, marching, steady hearts will beat,
Blasting requiem through trumpets most bold.
Broken bones speak subtle tones of defeat.
Brothers, sisters, children treading sleet
Together. At last, their warm hides are sold,
Molding one mound of marrow missing meat.
Vultures who swarm these white mountains do eat
Treasures of unity, unlocking gold.
Broken bones speak subtle tones of defeat,
Molding one mound of marrow missing meat.
GwtnA&ri On Orouiv
Tiptoeing on blades of grass
While rain bears down fast
Her teardrops falling like glass
Watching as time makes a pass
She finds the dark so vast
Tiptoeing on blades of grass
Her soul unwilling to surpass
Folded in wet silk. Trapped in a cast
Her teardrops falling like glass
Eclipsed in shadow she senses the mass
Their eyes search for a source of the blast
She's still tiptoeing on blades of grass
They find her reflection in cracks
The crimson silk. Trapped in a steel grasp
Their teardrops falling like glass
In silence they mourn the lass
The crimson on jade imprint in such contrast
From her tiptoeing on blades of grass
And her tears made of glass
Let's dance, you and I, by the light of the moon,
In the sight of a soft sweet song
Of the waves as they wash the wet warm beach
With sweet soft touch of white-tipped foam.
The stars give us light as our feet take their flight,
Our toes taste tenderly the sands
And sing of the moon to the soul of the earth
As they craft subtle craters into which worlds careen.
The wind and the waves make a sweet serenade
Where the surf and the sea kiss tenderly,
Like a small child laughing to the bright daylight
As the world is reborn again.
So what I must say is this, my dear:
That you are the light of my life;
And your soul speaks to me of the surf and the sea
As they kiss, eternally.
itltm- ifUus Yuu*
I was asked
jf I was a man
or a mouse.
What a ponder
In my mind.
Man or mouse, indeed.
I was a mouse
and ran around.
What a tyrant!
What a mouse!
What a cheese-stealer!
Indeed, a mouse.
The other day,
I was man
and was beaten
by Germans, Jews,
this man was;
how sad, indeed.
what was the change
Indeed, a tyrant
in either case.
duMUi City £udvU
Jane, I say,
Jane write me a
story, you plain girl
and tell me how
incorrigible you find me
tell everyone for years
to come shining light
on the monster
Jane, I say,
Jane, you silly girl
put down that
why can't you be
normal and read
instead of writing
like a sensible girl